ICC under-19 cricket World Cup: Shubman Gill, Prithvi Shaw key vs Australia’s Lloyd Pope

Shubman Gill, Prithvi Shaw have been the star batsmen for India along with Kamlesh Nagarkoti and Shivam Mavi while for Australia, Jason Sangha and Lloyd Pope hold the key.

cricket Updated: Feb 02, 2018 22:03 IST
Bihan Sengupta
Bihan Sengupta
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
ICC under-19 cricket world cup,ICC under-19 cricket world cup final,India vs Australia
Prithvi Shaw’s Indian cricket team are favourites heading into the ICC under-19 World Cup final against Australia. (IDI via Getty Images)

Any World Cup final is a matter of great pride for any side. However, at an under-19 level, chances are high that the opportunity would be knocking on the door for the first time. Hence, when the India under-19 side takes on their Australian counterparts on Saturday, there would be an ample amount of pressure on both sets of players. Here’s a list of top-five clashes to look out for:

Shubman Gill has been in great form while Lloyd Pope has been a revelation for Australia in the ICC Under-19 World Cup. (HT Photo)

Shubman Gill v Lloyd Pope

It should be an interesting contest given Gill has been India’s best performer with the bat while Pope has been with the ball for Australia. Gill’s average, a staggering 170.5 from the four innings so far speaks volumes of the kind of form he’s in at the moment. In fact, his lowest score of the tournament is an unbeaten 63. Lloyd, on the other hand, has shown glimpses of his skills in patches. He has 11 wickets to his name so far but eight of them came against England when he finished with figures of 8/35.

Prithvi Shaw has led from the front for India but Jonathan Merlo’s pace could trouble the openers at the start. (HT Photo)

Prithvi Shaw v Jonathan Merlo

Shaw had taken the under-19 World Cup by storm with a knock of 94 in the very first game against Australia. However, since then, although he hasn’t been poor, but the skipper has failed to build on his innings’ after getting good starts. Given his caliber, Shaw would want to improve on those previous three knocks of 57*, 40 and 41 but will have to tackle Jonathan Merlo well given that the fast bowler is in good form and picked up four wickets against Afghanistan in their last game to help his side reach the final.

Kamlesh Nagarkoti’s pace has been the key factor in India’s march to the final while Jason Sangha has been Australia’s gun batsman. (HT Photo)

Jason Sangha v Kamlesh Nagarkoti

The Indian under-19 star has already hogged limelight owing to his raw pace, which has even touched north of 145kmph in the ongoing edition of the under-19 World Cup. Nagarkoti is the third-highest wicket-taker in the side and had three scalps to his name in the first game against Australia. While India will definitely rest their hopes on the pacer to provide them early breakthroughs, Sangha, the Australian skipper, has led his side from the front by scoring 216 runs so far and will have to hold the innings well coming in at No 3.

Nathan McSweeney scored 156 for Australia but Shivam Mavi has complimented Nagarkoti’s pace well. (HT Photo)

Nathan McSweeney v Shivam Mavi

Mavi has been extremely impressive so far and is the second-highest wicket-taker for India in the tournament. Like Nagarkoti, he too, can can clock around 145kmph at a consistent rate and cause problems to the Australian top-order on Saturday. While McSweeney didn’t play in the first game, didn’t get to bat in the second, and has failed to go past 25 in the last two games, his stellar 156 against Papua New Guinea in a group game was an endorsement of his skill, which would be tested if his side loses a couple of early wickets.

Anukul Roy is the leading wicket-taker for India in the U-19 World Cup with 2 wickets while Jack Edwards has been consistent. (HT Photo)

Jack Edwards v Anukul Roy

This can turn out to be a personal battle as well,given Roy had sent pack the well-set Edwards on 73 in their first group clash. While Roy has turned out to be a nightmare for the opposition with 12 wickets in his kitty, Edwards has had a modest outing so far scoring 188 runs from four matches, including a half-century in the semifinal against Afghanistan. However, given that he has been dismissed thrice by spinners in the tournament, he has to stay extremely cautious against Roy who is yet to go wicket-less in any game.

First Published: Feb 02, 2018 20:30 IST